TL;DR: myself and Ellie are going to live in New Zealand for six months, followed by a few months of travelling on our way back to the UK. No, I’m not leaving Distilled. You can read more and follow our travels here.
Ever since this trip to New Zealand back in 2009, I’ve always wanted to spend longer in New Zealand and really absorb the lifestyle and experience as much as I could. I was there for three weeks back in 2009 and it felt like I hardly scratched the surface. In fact, even back then I was close to not coming back and settling there for a while. I mean, you can see why:
Now the time is right to make it happen for several reasons. One of the main reasons being that the Visa regulations for New Zealand are such that once you’re 30 years old, it is harder to get a working Visa without a trade that they need such as a builder, Doctor etc. I’m now 27 so I don’t have that much time before I hit this limit. Surprisingly, SEO isn’t on their list of required trades, perhaps it will be one day!
The other reason is that my amazing girlfriend Ellie has now finished University and the time is right for her too and she has the same ambitions as me when it comes to travelling. So it just felt right and what started as a bit of a joke over Skype one night turned into a serious idea which is now becoming a reality.
What’s the plan?
I hate planning when it comes to non-work stuff. I do so much at work that I almost deliberately step back from it when I’m at home, fortunately, Ellie is the opposite and knows roughly what we’re doing!
The plan is to live in Queenstown for six months. During this time we’ll be travelling around New Zealand but having our own home in Queenstown to come back to and work from. We’re also hoping on making it across to Australia as often as we can including New Years Eve if possible.
After the six months, we’ll hopefully have enough money to go travelling for a while, maybe 2-3 months on the way back to the UK.
That’s the plan anyway, we’ll see how it pans out!
What about Distilled?
I’m lucky enough to work for Will and Duncan who not only say they want to create the best place for the best people to work, but they make it more than words by their actions. They have given me the chance to fulfil an ambition and not have to worry about my job, it will be there when I get back. Well, kinda. There will be a job, neither of us have any idea what it will look like but that’s what makes it exciting and makes Distilled awesome. The SEOs will always need someone to make coffee I guess!
I will be doing some work for Distilled whilst in New Zealand, focusing on DistilledU which is growing day by day. Unfortunately, I can’t do client work on such a big time difference and when most of my client work involves spending time in their offices on a regular basis.
Are you freelancing?
A little yes. I still have to eat so I’ll be doing some freelance work and already have a few exciting projects lined up with some awesome companies. Ellie is an amazing freelance content writer who will be doing freelance work too so if you are interested in working with either of us, feel free to get in touch.